UPenn Athletes Write Letter Asking for School & Ivy League to Accept New Transgender Guidelines

Some members of the women’s swimming and diving team at the University of Pennsylvania have written an open letter calling for the school to accept USA Swimming’s new transgender policy.

  • Sixteen athletes published the open letter Thursday pleading with the university and the Ivy League to support biological women and recognize the biology of sex “when it comes to sports competition.”
  • The letter comes in response as members of the swim team have come out in support of Lia Thomas, a transgender athlete competing for UPenn.
  • USA Swimming released “Athlete Inclusion Procedures” Tuesday, outlining the “competitive difference in the male and female categories and the disadvantages this presents in elite head-to-head competition,” The Blaze reported.
  • The swim team members write that the “unfair advantage” Thomas has over the women have caused the athletes to miss opportunities in their sport.
  • While the letter failed to disclose the specific identities of the athletes, it was led by Olympic gold medal swimmer and civil rights lawyer Nancy Hogshead-Maker.

“We fully support Lia Thomas in her decision to affirm her gender identity and to transition from a man to a woman. Lia has every right to live her life authentically. However, we also recognize that when it comes to sports competition, that the biology of sex is a separate issue from someone’s gender identity.”

  • Last month, Hogshead-Makar authored an opinion piece for the Daily Mail touching on this topic, writing about why she thought it was not fair for women to compete against Thomas.
  • Hogshead-Maker explained that allowing transgender athletes to compete takes opportunities away from women and girls. She included analogies stating that biological men competing against females would be like “allowing adults to compete against children.”
  • Students and parents nationwide have pushed back against the controversial topic, claiming that ultimately men have natural advantages over women that do not go away with hormone therapy or because they identify as one sex over the other.